Saints rankings: No. 1 QB Drew Brees

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
8:00
AM ET
I’m ranking the top 20 New Orleans Saints players leading up to training camp. It’s based on their current value -- meaning both past accomplishments and potential are taken into account. Think, who would you want on the field most in Week 1 this season?

At No. 1, it’s quarterback Drew Brees

Brees
Profile: Year 14, Age 35, 6-foot, 209 pounds

Analysis: Rankings don’t get any easier than this. Brees is both the best player on the Saints today and in the franchise’s history. He’s one of the NFL’s four truly elite quarterbacks, along with Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. And he’s the reason why New Orleans remains among the league’s top Super Bowl contenders again this season.

Brees showed more inconsistency on the road last year than ever before -- which you know he’ll be determined to correct this year. And he struggled to get the ball downfield for big plays during a late-season slump for the entire Saints’ offense. But other than that, Brees hasn’t really shown any signs of decline yet, and there’s no reason to expect one anytime soon.

In fact, thanks to some vintage dominant performances inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome last season, Brees wound up with one of the best statistical seasons of his career. His numbers ranked as the third best of his eight-year tenure with the Saints in almost every category, including his 5,162 yards, 39 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 104.7 passer rating, 68.6 completion percentage and 11 victories.

With an easier road schedule this season, it wouldn’t be one bit surprising to see Brees finally break through and capture his first regular-season MVP award -- though he’d surely rank his second Super Bowl MVP as a higher priority.

Previous rankings:

No. 20 (tie) RBs Mark Ingram/Khiry Robinson
No. 19 WR Kenny Stills
No. 18 S Rafael Bush
No. 17 LB David Hawthorne
No. 16 CB Champ Bailey
No. 15 P Thomas Morstead
No. 14 OT Zach Strief
No. 13 RB Pierre Thomas
No. 12 DE Akiem Hicks
No. 11 S Kenny Vaccaro
No. 10 LB Curtis Lofton
No. 9 G Ben Grubbs
No. 8 OLB Junior Galette
No. 7 WR Marques Colston
No. 6 G Jahri Evans
No. 5 CB Keenan Lewis
No. 4 S Jairus Byrd
No. 3 DE Cameron Jordan
No. 2 TE Jimmy Graham

Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter

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